Kickstarter: It’s The Little Things

Hi. This isn’t an April Fool’s post.

We’re coming up on $20,000 with the Dinocalypse Trilogy (and more) Kickstarter campaign, and I wanted to share some data from the dashboard:

Referrer Type # of Pledges % of Dollars Dollars Pledged
Direct traffic (no referrer information) External 113 20.02% $3,920
Twitter External 79 20.72% $4,057
Popular (Discover) Kickstarter 49 6.67% $1,307
Search Kickstarter 39 6.87% $1,345.01 External 36 4.16% $815
Facebook External 27 6.0% $1,175 External 22 2.78% $545 External 20 3.09% $605
Kickstarter user profiles Kickstarter 16 3.32% $650
Embedded widget Kickstarter 16 1.85% $362
A project’s backer confirmation page Kickstarter 13 2.48% $485 External 12 2.61% $511
Friend backing email Kickstarter 12 1.84% $360 External 10 2.3% $450 External 10 0.82% $160 External 9 1.71% $335
Fiction (Discover) Kickstarter 8 0.62% $121 External 6 0.92% $180 External 5 0.54% $105 External 5 0.33% $65
Activity feed Kickstarter 4 1.53% $300 External 3 1.53% $300
Follow Friends page Kickstarter 3 0.31% $60 External 3 0.26% $50
Staff Picks (Discover) Kickstarter 2 0.52% $100

When it comes down to it, a Kickstarter campaign doing well (I think I can safely say we’re doing well without that being boasting) is an aggregation of many smaller audiences into a bigger one. You can see, above, how the various means of project discovery on the Kickstarter website helps drive traffic to us as we pick up momentum. You can also see how very potent social media has been for us (which is, itself, an aggregation of many small audiences). What’s left from those is a variety of blog sources, some of which I control directly, some of which represent review sites, community sites, and blogs of the project’s contributing authors. (You’ve heard that we’re offering up novels by Atomic Robo‘s Brian Clevinger and Urban Shaman‘s C. E. Murphy, too, right? And you get them all in e-book for a low backing price? Plus, we’ll announce even more this Tuesday…)

The upshot, then, is that you can’t plan on a “single channel” to bring you success with your kickstarter campaign. You’ve got to think “okay, here’s my one audience … but where are others that I can add into this?” Not a fan of facebook, twitter, G+? Tough — you’ll get another audience if you’re over there, so consider how to establish yourself and gain a following before you launch. Is your project a single creator gig? Well, maybe you should think about how to involve other creatives, too — you’ll get both the fruits of their talents and their audiences when the project launches. Every little bit counts, and it’s only when you start adding all of that up that you can reach for that self-sustaining critical-mass reaction that can really make things fly.

That’s the theory, at least. I’m only 12 days into this thing. Three weeks yet to go, and more kickstarter campaigns beyond this one. We’ll see how well the theory holds up.